The Pasco County Sheriff's Office welcomed new members and honored several veterans during its Third Quarter Swearing-In and Awards Ceremony at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School on Wednesday.
In addition to recognizing three retiring members after more than 80 years of combined service, the agency also honored several of its own with the Lifesaving Award.
A citizen was among the six who received the award, usually given to a member of the sheriff's office who saves or prolongs the life of someone long enough for medical help to arrive.
Deputies Andrew Denbo and Elissa Eders and civilian Pete Hamilton were given the award for their actions on July 28.
On that day, deputies were called to the Withlacoochee River near Lacoochee after a man and his wife fell out of their canoe and were unable to escape the water. Hamilton heard their screams and entered the water. He was able to pull the elderly man to shore. Exhausted from fighting the swift current, Hamilton couldn't get the man's wife to shore; instead, he pulled her to the safety of a sandbar in the middle of the river.
Denbo and Eders arrived and rescued Hamilton and the woman.
Deputy Steven Napoleon was given the award for his efforts on July 26, when he responded to State Road 54 in Land O' Lakes after a pedestrian was hit by a car.
The man left before the deputy arrived, but a short distance away — and nearly an hour later — Napoleon almost hit a man in dark clothing walking on the busy thoroughfare.
The deputy said the man was drunk and distraught and attempted to step in front of several cars that were going about 60 mph.
Napoleon had to wrestle the man to the ground to save his life. He was taken into custody under the state's Baker Act, which is used to detain people and evaluate their mental health.
Also on July 26, Cpl. Christopher Joyal was patrolling in Dade City near Lawrence Drive when he saw an elderly man in medical distress at a bus stop. Joyal stopped his car, got out, and as Joyal approached, the man lost consciousness. After calling for medical help, Joyal performed CPR until Pasco Fire Rescue arrived.
Paramedics used a defibrillator on the man and said that if Joyal had not intervened the man would have died.
On Aug. 4, field training officer Nicholas Magill responded to Little Road and Trinity Boulevard for a reckless driver call.
Once he arrived, Magill saw a slow-moving sport utility vehicle eastbound on Trinity Boulevard swerve into oncoming traffic. The SUV crashed into a guardrail and landed in a ditch filled with water.
Magill climbed through a window, turned the vehicle off, opened the door and carried the unconscious driver to safety. It was determined the man had suffered from diabetic shock and passed out.
The SUV driver regained consciousness, and paramedics treated him at the scene.